THE HANDS OF SAFETY
INFORMING THE PUBLIC
YOUR RIGHT TO A SAFE AND HASSLE-FREE INSTALLATION
The Occupational Health and Safety Act prescribes, through the Electrical Installation Regulations, who
may carry out electrical installation work and in this way protects users of electricity. The Act also gives
protection to the public by means of a Certiﬁcate of Compliance (CoC) which every user or lessor of an
installation is obliged to possess, and should ideally be provided every time a house changes owner-
“I have a Certiﬁcate of Compliance (CoC) and the installation is not functioning properly. What
should I do?”
Proof of safety is the CoC issued by an accredited person (electrician accredited by the Department of
Labour). This person will either be the proprietor, or an employee, of an electrical contracting business
which must be registered with the Electrical Contracting Board of South Africa (ECB) as an electrical
contractor. It is important to bear in mind that the CoC certiﬁes the safety of the installation. It is possible
that an electrical installation is not fully functional (e.g. some lights or plugs don’t work), but the installa-
tion is safe and the CoC is valid.
As homeowner, you can take the following precautions to ensure the electrician is permitted to perform
the required work.
• Request his or her registration card issued by the ECB (Electrical Contracting Board
of South Africa). A date stamp will indicate whether the Contractor is currently registered.
• To ensure the person is qualified to do the electrical work and authorised to
issue a COC, request his accreditation certificate issued by the Department of
Labour. This will show the accredited person’s name, ID number and photograph.
The work itself may be carried out by the contractor’s competent employees.
• When looking for an electrical contractor to carry out your work, insist that it is a
member of the ECA (Electrical Contractors Association). In the event that you are
dissatisfied with the work undertaken, you will have recourse in that the ECA
mediates between members and their clients. THE WORKMANSHIP
OF MEMBERS IS ALSO GUARANTEED UP TO R15 000,00*
“Is my Certiﬁcate of Compliance (CoC) transferable?”
In terms of the Electrical Installation Regulations, the answer is yes. Provided that if any additions
and/or alterations were done, a certiﬁcate was obtained for such work and the electrical installation was
properly maintained by the user or lessor.
The seller is obliged, by the Act, to sell an installation that complies with the Regulations. The CoC is the
only recognised proof of this compliance. In addition, almost all property sale agreements provide for the
seller to hand a valid CoC to the buyer.
“Are appliances covered by the Certiﬁcate of Compliance (CoC)?”
• Appliances such as lights, geysers, stoves, airconditioning units etc (See note 3 on
front page of the CoC) are not covered by the Certificate of Compliance (CoC). The
non-working of appliances does not necessarily mean that the CoC is invalid.
• The Certificate of Compliance (CoC) covers from the point of control
(main switch in Distribution Board) to the point of consumption (socket outlets,
terminals of lights, geysers, stoves etc.)
• The Certificate of Compliance (CoC) certifies the fixed wiring of the permanent
electrical installation including all light switches, wall mounted isolators,
distribution boards and socket outlets.
* Terms and conditions apply
ELECTRICITY AND THE HOMEOWNER:
RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR ELECTRICAL INSTALLATION
The onus rests on you, as homeowner, to ensure that the electricity in your house does not pose a threat
to you, your family, any other person or animal, or the property. This also places the responsibility on
you to prevent any hazardous situations that may trigger an electrical incident. The certiﬁcate has no
expiry date but if any additions, modiﬁcations or alterations are carried out to your installation you will
require an additional certiﬁcate for such work or, if necessary, a new certiﬁcate for the entire installation.
Failure to acquire such additional certiﬁcate will mean that the entire installation is not certiﬁed and may
render the original certiﬁcate invalid.
Should an incident occur, all involved parties will be investigated and the homeowner could attract li-
ability if the installation is not safe or is not being correctly used. It could also invalidate the insurance
on the property.
Save yourself the money and heartache that accompanies these incidents and “service” your electrical
installation, appliances or any other hazardous source on a regular basis.
Following are some less common facts about prevention of hazardous situations:
• Ensure your household appliance bears a label of a testing laboratory.
• Avoid using several high-amperage appliances (such as irons or heat
producing appliances) on the same circuit
• Dust, spider webs etc are an invitation for a fire to start in an electrical system.
• Dimmed lights, reduced output from heaters and poor television pictures can be symptoms
of an overloaded circuit.
• Avoid plugging two or more appliances into the same outlet or circuit if together
they exceed 1000 Watts.
• Examples of such appliances are air conditioners, hot plates, irons, washing machines,
heaters, dishwashers etc. Wattages are usually indicated on the appliance
itself or in the instruction manual.
• Clean your tumble dryer thoroughly as a blocked or dirty lint filter can catch fire
or set fire to clothes inside the drum.
• Be cautious when drilling holes or driving nails into walls. If you hit or damage
electrical wires, a dangerous situation can be created.
• Ensure that stationary appliances permanently connected by means of fixed wiring
such as stoves, geysers, gate motors etc, are controlled through an isolating switch.
• Most important, never attempt to put water on an electrical fire as water conducts electricity
and could cause electrocution. Use a CO2 fire extinguisher. Every home should have one.
• Always use a registered electrical contractor to work on your electrical installation,
and insist that he/she be a member of the ECA .
ECA(SA) - COMPETENCE WITHOUT COMPROMISE
INFORMING THE PUBLIC
Need a registered electrical contractor in your area?
Contact your regional ECA(SA) ofﬁce or visit our website www.ecasa.co.za (Locate Contractor).
ECA(SA) HOUSE, 91 NEWTON ROAD, MEADOWDALE EXT.2, GERMISTON, 1401
PO BOX 9683, EDENGLEN, 1613
TEL: (011) 392-0000 FAX: (011) 974-9402
1074 SCHOEMAN STREET, HATFIELD, PRETORIA, 0002
PO BOX 12011, HATFIELD, PRETORIA 0028
TEL: (012) 342-3242/3358 FAX: (012) 342-3455
188 WINDERMERE ROAD, MORNINGSIDE, DURBAN 4001
PO BOX 47453, GREYVILLE, 4023
TEL: (031) 312-6313 FAX: (031) 312-0851
57 KRAUSE STREET, ORANJESIG, BLOEMFONTEIN, 9301
PO BOX 7738, BLOEMFONTEIN, 9300
TEL: (051) 447-0859 FAX: (051) 430-2355
13 MANGOLD STREET, NEWTON PARK 6001
PO BOX 7699 NEWTON PARK 6055
TEL: (041) 363-1990 FAX: (041) 363-1997
SHOP 40, BEREA MALL, BEREA, 5241
PO BOX 19162, TECOMA, 5214
TEL: (043) 7211558 FAX: (043) 721 1559
46 NEW MARKET STREET, CAPE TOWN 8001
PO BOX 2960, CAPE TOWN, 8000
TEL: (021) 462-2690 FAX: (021) 465-6319
INFORMING THE PUBLIC
Website: www.ecasa.co.za E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org